Haverhill freedom fighter puts plans to fight ISIS on hold

Scott Macleay (right) with a YPG fighter
Scott Macleay (right) with a YPG fighter

A Haverhill dad who vowed to fight against terrorists in Iraq and Syria has been forced to put his plans on hold.

Scott Macleay, 31, made headlines last year when he promised to travel to the Middle East to help in the fight against ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria).

Mr Macleay now says his hopes to join the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the region are unlikely to be realised as he is unable to leave the country and cannot see his three-year-old daughter, having been branded an extremist.

“I’ve had nothing but trouble from the counter terrorism police,” said Mr Macleay. “My passport has been blocked and social services have said I’m not allowed to see my daughter.

“They say I’m an extremist and that I’m also a target for extremism, so it’s not safe for me to be with her.

If I was going to fight with the other side, I’d understand, but I’m just trying to stand up for what I believe in. I’ve taken a lot of flack, it’s not proportionate.

“I’ve put my plans on the back burner. I’ve spoken to some of the blokes over there [Syria] and it’s all getting quite messy.

“I try not to watch the news now. It’s hard when you’ve got pals over there and there’s nothing you can do.

“I don’t regret anything at all but, when they start making things difficult for my family, I have to think about what’s important to me.

“If it was just me, I’d try everything I could to go, it’s the right thing to do.

“But when it affects my family, I have to put them first. I feel like I have to be the bigger man.”